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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Science

The Middle East Studies program offers you Arabic language courses and a series of specially designed area study courses. Study international relations, diplomacy, and the economic and social development of Jordan and the wider Middle East. Explore issues related to gender and politics, environmental studies, and religion, and take courses on Arabic literature and history. You may also choose to add a credit-bearing internship to your course work.

Unique study opportunities

This program provides unique opportunities to learn about Jordanian culture. You will have the opportunity to learn new skills, including Arabic calligraphy, folk dancing, and Jordanian cooking.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Required

You study both Modern Standard Arabic and colloquial Jordanian Arabic. You are placed in courses appropriate to your level. There are no language prerequisites.

CIEE recruits peer language tutors from the Department of Arabic at the University of Jordan. You are encouraged to meet with your language partners for up to three hours per week to practice conversation, explore the University, and expand your understanding of the host culture.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Four to five classes for a total of 22.5-27 quarter/15-18 semester UC units. ​​
  • You may take up to one course on a pass/no pass basis. Most UC campus departments prohibit the pass/no pass grading option for any course in the major. It is your responsibility to be aware of your UC campus and department regulations, restrictions, or limitations regarding pass/no pass and to plan coursework accordingly.

Current Program Courses

While on this program, you take the following courses:

  • Modern Standard Arabic: 9 quarter/6 semester UC units
  • Colloquial Jordanian Arabic: 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units
  • Two or three elective area studies courses OR one or two electives plus an internship: 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units each

Exact offerings vary slightly depending on the term and instructor availability, but typically include:

  • Organizational Internship
  • Arab Diplomacy
  • International Relations and Diplomacy in the Middle East
  • Seminar on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • America and the Arabs
  • Media Arabic
  • Intercultural Communication and Leadership
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Development Economics in the Middle East
  • Political Structure and Dynamics of the Middle East Regional System
  • Environment, Sustainability, and Activism
  • The Environment and the Politics of Water

UCEAP students may not enroll in courses at Princess Sumaya University for Technology.

Catalogs and resources

  • Course listings for the Middle East Studies program. You will need to scroll to the section titled “curriculum."
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

Participants study only with other CIEE study abroad students except in the companion course to the internship. The extracurricular activities, lectures, and workshop with experts on a range of contemporary issues allow CIEE students to gain official insight into Jordan’s most pressing domestic and international concerns. 

The program is academically rigorous and offers focused students an opportunity to make great strides in their language and overall knowledge of the region. Students attend Arabic language courses five days per week. Area studies courses are held in the afternoons or evenings. Class attendance is required and unexcused absences count against students’ final grades.

Jordanian classrooms and classes tend to be lecture style; however, many are conducted seminar style, allowing for dialogue and discussions. Many of the professors who teach CIEE courses have received degrees in either the United States or the United Kingdom, or have participated in fellowships abroad and thus are familiar with American classrooms.


Grades (A–F with pluses and minuses, converted from a 100 point scale) are assigned based on mid-term and final exams, and depending on the course, additional assignments such as a research paper or a class presentation. UCEAP uses CIEE’s grading rubric when transmitting grades back to your UC campus. The grades on your UC record will appear exactly as they are on your CIEE transcript. Grades are final and will not be changed unless an error has been made in the recording.

Fall grades are usually available early February. Spring grades are usually available mid-July.